so it dawned on me this morning that today - one year ago - was my last day at work! i had received the news earlier that week that i was going to be induced on the 19th so i immediately had my FMLA paperwork revised to start my maternity leave on that day, which was a friday. the last visit to my OB - she advised that i should check myself into the hospital on the evening of the 18th so they could give me Cervidil, a medicine that would soften/ripen my cervix up. SO - i decided to take a day of my own leave on that thursday and spent the day preparing for what was ahead. i remember waking up that thursday morning and thinking 'my life will change within 24hrs'.
so, i couldn't tell you what i spent that day doing but my guess would be NOTHING! i probably myspaced/facebooked, cleaned up, packed/repacked my hospital bag and kullen's bag and just waited for adam to get home. i know i was determined to have the BEST 'last meal' so naturally i went to sakura. of course, being 9 months pregnant, i was HUUUUGE and remember being VERY aggravated when they asked me to move my purse (which was on the chair next to me) so someone could sit down. after making a comment along the lines of 'do you SEE how big i am' - i think the family decided to sit at another table! after dinner, we drove to southern maryland hospital and checked in. i walked in thinking 'next time i leave, i'll have a baby with me' - ha, little did i know ...
after going through allll the paperwork and being hooked up to all the machines - it was finally time! they gave me the cervidil - which was inserted - and pretty much left us alone. somehow, i managed to fall asleep. i was woke up by the nurse the next morning ready to take out the cervidil and administer the pitocin! how exciting, right? well - not really! it's not like anything happens right away .. in fact, the next few hours were pretttty boring. granted i had family there, coming in and out, visiting and keeping me company - but just laying in a bed, waiting kinda stinks! not to mention doctors coming in every 30mins to an hour 'checking' me ... what FUN!! finalllly - around 12:30pm, my OB came in and decided it was time to break my water - NOW, i was beginning to get excited/nervous! once she broke the water, i immediately felt some relief but also began to feel contractions - STRONG. i told her i was ready for the epidural! so, they sent away for the anesthesiologist ... LONGEST.WAIT.OF.MY.LIFE! i had definitely never felt pain like that - or at least so i thought! meanwhile - my doctor informed me there was meconium in my water - which means kullen had already has his first bowel movement. she explained that quick action would have to be taken after he was born to make sure he didn't inhale/ingest any of that because if so, it can be dangerous. so, since she had broken my water - she wanted to put another cathader in to flush the water that remained. so, not only was i nervous about that - i began to get really nervous about my epidural that was on the way. i KNEW they would make adam leave and this was NOT something i wanted to do alone, but i knew it was just hospital policy. finally - he got there and asked adam to leave. they asked me to sit up, round my back and hug a pillow. then the doctor said he would be giding his assistant through the procedure. uh, yeah - you read that right - GUIDING HIS ASSISTANT! now obviously, i'm contracting and thinking of absolutely anything BUT this epidural because i've heard the horror stories - otherwise i would have said 'hold up, no thanks on that assistant business' - but yeah, so we began. OUCH! OUCH! BREATHEEE KALEY, BREATHEEE! done. at least i thought so .. until the anesthesiologist starts MOVING the thing around inside my back and is telling his assistant it should be like "this" - not like "that". UGH! my whole back was on FIRE at this point but i knew it would be okay in a matter of moments, just wish those moments didn't feel like YEARS! finally, it was all said and done and adam was allowed to come back in and i couldn't feel a thingggggg!
the next seven hours were spent with me just laying in bed, visitors in and out, doctors in and out, poking and prodding all over me.
during that time - the water they 'flushed' me with was supposed to exit back out and never did. the doctors decides another bag would definitely 'FLUSH' everything - well, after the 2nd bag was empty and i had 'leaked' no fluids - i developed a fever. at this point, things were crazy - they were worried about me AND the baby so they went ahead and hooked me up to IV antibiotics and oxygen. what a pain. finally, around 745ish - i was almost fully dilated and ready to give a few practice pushes. well, next thing i know - my doctor says she wants the epidural turned down so i could feel the contractions and push with them. i began my 'real' pushing at 8:02pm. i remember thinking 'ok, i'll just push a few times and this will all be over' the first 30 or so minutes weren't too bad - i couldn't feel what was going on yet i was still pushing when i was given the 'go'. after that time - the epidural slowly began to wear off and i could feel my legs, as well as everything else going on down there. NOOOOTTT FUN! by the end, i could feel every contraction and nobody had to tell me to push - i KNEW when to push and would tell the doc, my mom and adam 'i feel one' and we'd go at it again. so, at almost the 2hour mark, my doctor said they were going to try one more thing (keep in mind, she'd already cut me) and if he still didn't come out we'd probably have to do a c-section. well, i didn't really know what she was doing until she did it - she had the vaccuum =( i saw her twisting and turning that thing and all i could think about was getting my son OUT so he was not 'vaccuummed'! FINALLLY - at 10:02pm he was born. all 7lbs 2oz and 21 1/2 inches of him.
there are so many things that i wanted to do during my labor - the most important being that i wanted a mirror during my pushing. i wanted to see and feel his head. i DID NOT want a vaccuum or forceps. but when i was in that situation and everyone was making it seem like it was CRITICAL for kullen to get out and make sure he had not ingested that poo - it was like i didn't care what had to be done, just get him out and get him healthy!! not to mention, in between pushing i was just exhausted - i couldn't find the energy to THINK - let alone stop what everyone was doing and ask for a mirror or to feel the head. all i wanted was for it to be OVER and my son to be out.
so anyway - after he was born and adam cut the cord - they allowed my family to come in while i was being 'taken care of' and hold/see kullen. the rest of the night was a blur, all i know is that i was BEAT and kullen needed to be fully examined and the doctors said it was going to take a while so they let me sleep. they brought him in to feed that morning and i remember thinking how different he already looked! i was so afraid to hold him, he was SO tiny. adam really took the reigns that first day - he had no fear in picking him up or changing his diaper, which amazed me! i was so proud of him :)
we had so many visitors during the next two days, which also made me happy (even though i looked a totallll disaster!) everyone raved about how beautiful he was :)
kullen had to be taken back to the NICU twice daily to receive his antibiotic treatments via IV. it took about 45 minutes =( nobody could really answer our questions as to WHY he had an IV or WHY he needed antibiotics - the nurses just kept saying it was more precautionary measure since i had an infection during labor/birth. they kept testing the amniotic fluid and his blood for infection; i believe they found a strand of infection in my amniotic fluid but never found anything in kullen. so, when they informed us on sunday that we would be discharged but kullen wouldn't - we were HEARTBROKEN. i just remember crying and holding him, thinking how can i leave him? how can i exit the hospital with NO baby? the overnight nurse staff were great - they allowed us to stay the night on sunday, as long as we got up and left by 6am before the cleaning crew arrived. leaving the hospital was gut-wrenching. i asked if i could PLEASE walk out alone and they said it was hospital policy and that i HAD to be wheeled out .. so as i was being wheeled, the guard at the front asks "where is the baby?!!!" - through the tears i had to tell him that he was being kept and i wasn't sure why. i cried the entire way home. once we got home, i went straight up to bed. when i woke up, i was already crying. you always hear people say 'i woke up crying' .. well yeah, somehow the tears were already flowing before i even opened my eyes. the following days, we tried to keep busy ... but nothing kept our mind away. we would go back and forth from home to the hospital. when we went back to the hospital that sunday evening, we found the IV had been moved from kullens hand - to his head. imagine the shock you feel when we walk in the room and see to tubes/ivs coming from your childs head. eveerytime we were there, i would ask about his release date and everytime it got longer and longer. one evening, i completely broke down and sobbed as i held him. this was the time that adam exploded and demanded to speak to the head nurse, who was in charge of making these decisions. of course, she was not at the hospital so we had to write a letter, which i still have a copy of. you see - the hospital NEVER contacted us to let us know the status of our son, EVER. they took it upon themself to move his IV to his HEAD, took it upon themselves to feed him from a bottle - which both of those things, adam and i would have agreed it was okay in our absensce but it still should have been our decision. so, adam wrote a very demanding letter to the doctor saying that we wanted to be contacted with ANY changes in our son - ANY. from behavior, feedings, temperature, iv treatments - you name it, adam mentioned it. we also stated that we wanted to be contacted by the head nurse herself twice per day for a detail update on him. we left the hospital that night thinking our son was going to be in there the rest of the week or possibly, another full week. the next morning, wednesday, we got a call saying that our son was going to be released that afternoon! he was scheduled for a circumcision around 11am and we would be able to pick him up a couple hours later. i have NEVERRRR, EVERRRRR been SO excited and happy in my life. the drive to the hospital was the longesttt ever and i know that i was smiling the entire time. i was so nervous picking him up, after everything he'd been through espeically since the nurses there scared the CRAP out of me. during one of our visits, the nurse was explaining that my amniotic fluid tested positive for 'staph' and that if kullen didn't receive at least two weeks of antiobiotics he could possibly die. WHO SAYS THAT?!!!! so, yeah - needless to say - i was scared out of my mind. i sat in the backseat with him and held his little tiny head up the entire way home (because of course it flopped down because he has no head contorl).
i can't describe the feeling of bringing your baby home after they've been kept longer than they should have. there is just something wrong about having a baby and going home alone. but, having him home after the wait just made it all the more special, i guess. :)
so that was kullens birth story - i probably left so many details out - especially because i started this blog on thursday (the 17th) and just finished it today (the 21st)
so now my baby boy is ONE! i still can't believe it - it feels like only yesterday. <3